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Excellence Through Learning

Our Mission

The Mission of the Office of Organizational and Professional Development is to foster an organizational learning environment that contributes to the effectiveness of Rice employees and teams and provides them with the support, skills, and information necessary to lead and perform with excellence.

Ultimately, in partnership with Rice leadership, teams, divisions, schools and departments, the Office of Organizational and Professional Development will employ a continuum of strategies, services and interventions to increase organizational effectiveness.


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Our Vision

To be the resource to develop world class staff, who are empowered, have impact & cultivate a CAREER @ RICE. We do this by offering high quality instruction, collaborative learning experiences and access to ongoing development opportunities and resources.

President's Town Hall Meetings

Attend the President's Town Hall Meeting and take advantage of this opportunity to hear the latest news affecting Rice. President David Leebron will address your most significant questions and issues, reveal updates on the latest developments at Rice, and answer questions about areas of particular interest to you.

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Our Model

We make resources and learning opportunities available, and ensure they lead to results and enhanced performance, by carrying out our work in the form of this 3-part model:

Curate Content

We Curate Content in various places and formats, including:

  • A video library (e.g. MS Office, Adobe, etc.)
  • Competency-focused resources
Cultivate Collaboration

We Cultivate Collaboration across campus through:

Focus Groups – we conduct these from time to time as one way to keep our “ear to the ground,” and use the feedback we collect to inform the content we’re curating, the courses we’re offering, etc.

Facilitating connections and sharing resources – we intentionally create opportunities for collaboration and connection so staff can develop and strengthen internal networks and share resources to increase personal and team effectiveness.

Provide Instruction

We Provide Instruction through:

  • Consulting and Coaching – whether one-on-one or in small groups, we work with individuals and teams to understand their needs, and help them access resources that best address those needs.
  • Instructor-Led Learning – we offer courses to teach skills that enable employees to perform their jobs most effectively. Some of these courses are short (1/2 day long); others are multi-part and occur over several weeks. In either case, the intention is the same – to teach skills, provide opportunities to learn and practice them, and give tools to reinforce that practice and measure performance and success.
  • Self-Directed Learning – we provide resources that support employees engaging in self-directed learning, reinforcing learning and taking responsibility for their own professional development.

Contact Information

5615 Kirby Drive, Suite 360

Our Team


Marie Wehrung

Director, Office of Learning and Professional Development

A member of the Rice community since 1992, Marie has been the driving force in shaping and guiding the creation of the Office of Organizational and Professional Development. A highly experienced performance specialist known for her energetic style of facilitation and commitment to the development of Rice employees across the board, Marie actively consults with university departments on their professional development needs, designs and facilitates the learning opportunities offered to the Rice staff and faculty, and ensures that participation in her programs results in a high level of workplace performance.


Melinda English

Organizational & Professional Development Consultant

Joining Rice in 2016, Melinda is passionate about training, professional/organizational development and coaching and how such initiatives and strategies can influence the Rice community at the individual, team, and organizational levels. Leveraging over 20 years professional experience, including higher education, nonprofit and corporate settings, Melinda strives to maximize talent potential to achieve organizational impact and performance excellence through quality, meaningful learning experiences.

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